As a nation we have articulated a series of health objectives that we wish to achieve by the year 2000.1 The significance of this first step should not be underestimated. As with many endeavors, simply overcoming inertia to begin discussions can prove a daunting task. For physicians, however, following through to achieve these newly articulated goals will require much additional commitment and change. Physicians must focus not only on providing clinical preventive services, but also on supporting the efforts of their state and local health departments in the provision of core public health functions. Only through coordinated efforts can we begin to effect large-scale improvements both in the health of our patients and in the health of our communities.
The role physicians play in providing preventive services is well established. Studies clearly illustrate the positive outlook that physicians bring to their role as providers of these services.2-4 Screening
Scutchfield FD, Hartman KT. Physicians and Preventive Medicine. JAMA. 1995;273(14):1150-1151. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520380086041